ive watched the video you sent me
the tour of the house you’re helping to renovate
you carefully map out the progress of each room
i listened to you explain trimming,
& dry wall,
& i may not understand all of that stuff,
but you in your element
always makes my heart happy.
but that isnt the reason why i watched it 27 times and counting.
when you say,
“and im excited that probably sometime in the future..
we’re gonna do this for us
hopefully. i love you.”
my heart goes all a flutter.
& we both know its been fluttering,
for a very long time now
but now it feels like its fluttering to a rhythm
that we both embody.
& it feels so damn good.
I love you
like a sea otter loves it’s favorite rock.
Fact: sea otters will search high and low
for a perfect rock
Smooth and ideal in shape
to rest on their belly
& smash clams and shellfish upon
they even have a pouch of skin
Where they keep their favorite rock
are my sea otter rock.
she sat on the stoop of the building
her arms cradling his head that hung low into his chest
his eyes pressed hard into the palms of his hand
her posture spoke to me
her every cell begged to perform a transfusion
“transfer the hurt, from him, to me” her face said
as she nuzzled her forehead into the curve between his ear and shoulder
cars passed between them, & me
kicking up the odors of the street
of drunken night life
& sober regrets.
i could feel her desperation from four lanes away
i silently observed them
as my drunken companion pulled me along
but all i wanted was to pause, & watch–
to know their night’s story.
because even in an entirely different country,
hurt easily translates.
He always stands in front of me on descending escalators,
& behind me on ascending ones
because he knows I have a propensity for falling.
He packs an overcoat even though he knows he’ll never use it,
because he’d rather carry the extra garment
& give me the option of having an added layer to protect me from the cold.
He sends me videos of himself,
welcoming me to whatever country,
state, city I’m flying into
so that however bad of a flight I had,
it’s always remedied with his bright smile.
He writes me notes with the sweetest sentiments
& sends them via email when he knows im still sleeping
so as not to wake me with a text notification.
These are the gestures
however small or large they appear
that lets me know
he chooses me.
each and every day.
ive never been so sad to be away from you.
but ive never been so happy,
to realize how sad i am without you.
how deeply i adore you.
i know that eskimos dont actually have
a hundred words for “snow.”
but i think that myth is the only way i know how
to articulate these moments
when i forget
that what i know to be true
the basis of my future-making decisions
& my unwavering faith
may not be the same
here i am,
assuming “snow” just means winter
& powdered white landscapes
but for you,
its based on context
& speed at which it’s falling.
that isn’t to say
we disagree on the sky being blue
or the moon meaning night
or “i love you” to be anything short of what it is.
For me, “all in” is no holds barred
regardless of what life throws at us,
im dedicating myself to this completely.
For you, “all in” translates to:
from what you know of me thus far,
from all youve grown to love
you’re in it. that much you can commit to.
but there is still life
& curved balls
that may change the concept of
“soft, delicate, beautiful” snow
into “icy, hazardous, dangerous” snow–
& that kind of shift demands reassessing of “all in.”
i wish i knew
all the variations of the word
before committing my whole heart
to the only translation ive ever known.
“Just.. you always have to be in each other’s corner. no matter what. you have to be that for him, but also know that he’s that for you. it’s wherever you are, whatever time it is, no matter what you’re feeling — you’re there. in the other’s corner.
.. oh. and laugh. a lot. make each other laugh.”
in my life
in how much i miss you
& it’s only been a day.
& we don’t cohabitate,
so it’s not a matter of readjusting
to having the entire bed to myself
or the lack of morning breath kisses
or timely meals shared after a long day of work
this is an emotional pull
but is only obvious to me.
its my body instinctively knowing you’re too far for comfort
& that anxious feeling reverberates the 7,803 miles separating us
& keeps me from being at peace.
they say distance makes the heart grow fonder
distance is the litmus test
that tells me
every cell in my body is protesting
against this thing called distance.
had i listened to all those relationship advice articles
i wouldnt be in this place i am now.
had i listened
to the impatience
tug tug tugging to be noticed
in those self-affirming
“10 Signs He’s Not That Into You”
i wouldnt have this relationship.
had i listened
to every friend
who reminded me of my biological clock
& the many many fish out there
i wouldnt have this person.
had i gone against my gut
& listened to all the have-nots
i wouldnt be here to appreciate
all the haves.
do you see?
the admiration beaming from my eyes when i gaze at you?
as if even minutes apart made me thirst for you
& just seeing you in all your handsome charm quenches it.
can you feel?
me trying to pluck the stress from your temples
your neck, your shoulders
as you tell me about your eventful day?
my earnest attempt to transfer all the bad you’re feeling
& take it upon myself.
can you hear?
the sweet sound of honest to goodness happiness?
in my laugh, in the way i coo, “you’re my favorite”
for the hundredth time today.
in the sincerity in my apologies for your long hours,
back to back meetings, & difficult days.
[i’ve never apologized so much before
& rarely ever for things that have
nothing to do with me]
is this what it is to love?
it feels like
such an incredible responsibility
to feel something this insurmountable
for someone else
& having now felt it,
to know that to live any other way
would be a half-life.